Holiday sales boost confidence of local business owners - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Holiday sales boost confidence of local business owners

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Story by Callie Starnes
Eyewitness News Reporter/Anchor

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-- A record number of shoppers are expected to shop online Monday.

But "Cyber Monday" is just the beginning to the holiday shopping season that Chattanooga business owners say is off to a good start.

Eyewitness News stopped by several restaurants and coffee shops, all with free wireless internet.

We didn't find many people shopping online.

But local business owners say in-store, Chattanoogans are letting loose of a little more cash this year, which is good news for the local economy.

"What is ‘Cyber Monday' exactly," asks Travis Upton.

It's a new concept for Travis Upton, but "Cyber Monday" has become all too common for businesses hoping to drag out after Thanksgiving sales.

The National Retail Federation estimates more than 100 million will buy online.

Good news for local businesses like Thunder Creek Harley Davidson that is closed on Mondays, but stays open online.

The online push comes after a busy weekend on the Northshore.

Black Friday rolled in the dough, but Bone Appetite's real treat came Saturday and Sunday on the heels of a national initiative urging shoppers to buy local.

"Saturday and Sunday were really good, really crazy, crazy good," says Kathy Levy.

And crazy good is an improvement over last year.

Kathy levy has made changes to her inventory because she says customers are shopping again, but doing it wisely.

"Trying to find the bargains and buying in the dog world, things that are a little more practical," says Levy.

But whatever they are buying online or in person, shoppers are showing up and giving local business owners confidence that has been lacking through the recession.

It all makes Travis Upton wonder what might be just one click away.

And while initial numbers look good both nationally and locally, the experts warn against getting too excited over this weekend's turn out.

2008 had a great first weekend and finished as one of the worst holiday seasons on record.

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